Embattled Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille remains hell-bent on clearing her name of allegations set against her by her own party, claiming that the Democratic Alliance's controversial "recall clause" raised at their federal congress meeting is a new bid to have her ousted.
The party and De Lille have been at loggerheads since an internal report made findings of corruption against her and disciplinary processes were initiated.
"When somebody says they've lost confidence in you, it must be for some reason and you must have the right to respond. Therein lies the clarity needed when it [the recall clause] is implemented. To determine whether your version or theirs is credible, there needs to be some kind of hearing," she told HuffPost on Monday.
"As public representatives, you are elected by the public and they are entitled to know what the reasons are for a vote of no confidence. The clause is interesting. It remains to be seen as to how it will be implemented."
The clause reads that: "If the president, a premier, a mayor or any other public representative elected or appointed to any executive position in a DA government has lost the confidence of his or her caucus, the federal executive may, after giving him or her the opportunity to make representations to it, resolve to require him or her to resign from his or her office within 48 hours. Failure by that member to resign will lead to the cessation of his or her membership of the party".
News24 reported that the DA has no other mechanisms to recall a person in an executive post if a motion of no confidence fails, and that at least 12 speakers gave input into the heated topic – the vast majority of whom supported the DA's ability to make political decisions about its deployees.
"It is an open secret that individuals inside the party are trying hard to get rid of me at all costs. All I'm asking for is a fair hearing or a fair trial. This clause is a way of short-circuiting disciplinary processes. I'm hell-bent on clearing my name. You can't buy your integrity. I am determined to answer to all these allegations," De Lille said.
The high court in Cape Town is due in May to rule on De Lille's application to set aside the report against her compiled by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen. The interparty disciplinary hearing against her has been postponed indefinitely.
The DA's federal executive chairperson, James Selfe, could not be reached for comment.